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Fuji FinePix 6800 Zoom

A new SuperCCD sensor gives Fuji's latest ultra compact true 3.3 megapixel resolution and great color.

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FinePix 6800 Zoom Sample Images

Review First Posted: 4/8/2001

We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it! ;)


Outdoor Portrait: (1232 k)
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why we set it up this way. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the Fuji FinePix 6800 Zoom does a great job, producing bright, accurate colors, without any oversaturation. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (1236 k) and daylight (1262 k) white balance settings, noticing similar results with each. In the end, we chose the automatic setting for our main series, as we felt it produced the most accurate overall image (the daylight setting was just a touch cool). Color looks pretty good throughout the image, with nicely accurate blues in the flower bouquet and the model's pants. (These blues are hard for many digicams to reproduce correctly, and often take on a purplish tint.) Skin tones show a bit too much magenta and orange in our estimation, but the overall effect isn't unpleasant. However, the bright, red flower looks pretty good, without too much brightness or loss of detail. Overall resolution looks very nice, with a lot of fine detail visible throughout the image. (These shots were taken at the 3 Megapixel "Fine" setting.) Details are also nice and crisp, particularly noticeable in the green leaves against the white shirt. The shadow areas show a nice level detail, with only moderate noise. A fairly small amount of noise is also visible in the house siding. Our main image was taken with a +0.7 EV exposure adjustment to get the best exposure in the shadow areas without overexposing the bright highlights too severely and losing too much detail. Overall, an excellent performance! The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 588
F/ 7
(1222 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 446
F/ 7
(1242 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 362
F/ 7
(1232 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 274
F/ 7
(1258 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 223
F/ 7
(1269 k)



 
Closer portrait: (1271 k)
The 6800 Zoom also does a nice job with this closer, portrait shot, thanks to its 3x lens. (Shorter focal length lenses tend to distort facial features in close-up shots like this and the availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-up people shots.) We again shot with the automatic white balance setting, again noticing a bit too much magenta and orange in the skin tones (in our humble opinion), but nonetheless generally pleasing color. Resolution is much higher in this close-up image, with very crisp details throughout the model's face and in her hair. The sunlit strands of hair are very distinct, as are the skin details of the face. In addition to the strong wood grain details, the fainter background texture of the house siding is visible as well. Noise is pretty low in the shadows, and just barely visible in the house siding. Our main shot was taken with no exposure adjustment (this close-up shot typically takes less exposure adjustment than the wider Outdoor Portrait). The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.0 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 169
F/ 7
(1271 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 630
F/ 2.8
(1266 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 478
F/ 2.8
(1268 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 416
F/ 2.8
(1272 k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (1288 k)
The 6800 Zoom's built-in flash illuminates the subject well, with fairly even distribution, but the strong incandescent lighting produces an orange cast overall. We snapped our first image with the built-in flash and no exposure adjustment (1275 k), which was a little dim overall. Next, we shot the flash exposure adjustment set to +0.3 (1288 k) and +0.6 (1292 k) exposure equivalents (EV). At the +0.6 EV setting, the flash is just a little too bright, washing out some of the color in the flower bouquet (though the orangish tints in the white shirt and model's hair begin to fade). At +0.3 EV, the image is a bit brighter and the orange cast is a little less objectionable, although we'd still like to see less of it. We chose the +0.3 EV version for our primary sample for this test. (Good news for Photoshoppers though: The orange cast is pretty uniform, which means it's pretty easy to deal with: This shot (564 k) shows the result of a one-click "Auto Levels" operation in Photoshop. Not bad...)


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (1263 k)
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting, and the 6800 Zoom's white balance system has some difficulty here. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (1274 k) and incandescent (1273 k) white balance settings, both of which produced strong color casts. The automatic setting resulted in a very warm, orangish image, while the incandescent setting produced a similarly warm, though brownish, color cast. We chose the incandescent setting for our main series, as it had less color cast and appeared the most natural of the two. The warm color cast causes the blue flowers to appear purplish, and the red flowers to appear more pink. We also noticed heavy magenta tints in the skin tones. Once again though, we found that the F6800 left plenty of detail in the image, under the yellow tint: This photo (433 k) shows the result of a one-click "auto levels" adjustment in Photoshop, resulting in pretty nice results with very little effort. Details are nice and sharp, and resolution shows a lot of fine detail visible throughout the image. We chose an exposure adjustment of +0.6 EV for our main image, as anything above that overexposed the highlight areas, causing them to glow. We also shot with the 100 (1278 k), 200 (1260 k), and 400 (1217 k) ISO settings, noticing that exposure darkened just slightly with the 200 and 400 ISO equivalents. Noise is barely visible at the 100 ISO setting, increasing to a moderate level at the 400 ISO setting. Still, even at 400 ISO, the noise pattern is tight and fine-grained, so the 6800 Zoom does a good job in this respect. The table below shows a range of exposures from zero to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 16
F/ 2.8
(1244 k)
0.3 EV
1/ 12
F/ 2.8
(1260 k)
0.7 EV
1/ 10
F/ 2.8
(1263 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 8
F/ 2.8
(1266 k)
1.3 EV
1/ 6
F/ 2.8
(1288 k)



 
House shot: (1266k)
We shot samples of this image with the daylight (1263 k) and automatic (1266 k) white balance settings, observing that the FinePix 6800 Zoom handled this test target quite well. The daylight setting produced a warm image, with yellowish tints in the white highlights. Overall color looks fairly accurate with the automatic white balance, though the red bricks appear slightly magenta. Resolution looks quite good, with a lot of fine detail visible in the bricks and shrubbery, and in the tree limbs above the roof (although details appear just slightly soft). We noticed a fair amount of corner softness in all four corners of the image, with the strongest evidence in the lower left corner. The roof shingles and shadows show very low noise, and only a pixel of a halo around the light and dark edges of the white roof trim hints at the in-camera sharpening. We also shot sample images with the 6800 Zoom's interpolated 2,832 x 2,128 pixel resolution size, in both automatic (2368 k) and daylight (2369 k) white balance settings. While the amount of added detail in the interpolated 6 megapixel file size wasn't enormous, we did feel that the images showed a noticeable increase in resolution relative to the uninterpolated 3 megapixel file size.


 
 
Far-Field Test: (2343 k)
This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

We shot this image with the automatic white balance setting, which produced fairly accurate color throughout the image. The white highlights show a slightly cool cast, but overall color still looks good. This shot is a strong test of detail, given the practically infinite range of fine detail in a natural scene like this, viewed from a distance. The FinePix 6800 left the darkest shadow values a little light in this shot, giving the image a slightly milky look, but the detail in the image is really extraordinary: This is the shot that really convinced us that the 6800's SuperCCD interpolation is genuinely producing more image data than is present in the uninterpolated file, or than is recorded by a conventional 3.3 megapixel CCD. Examining the fine details in the tree branches against the sky above the house clearly shows greater sharpness and more detail present than in upsampled versions of either the 6800's own 3 megapixel image, or the image from any other 3 megapixel camera we've yet tested. The differences are subtle, but clearly present. Fantastic detail! (These images may look a little softer on-screen than uninterpolated 3 megapixel shots - To really see the differences in detail, print shots from the 6800 and another 3 megapixel camera of your choice at the same size, larger than 8x10, on a high-quality printer. We think the differences are pretty clear under those conditions.)

We also judge a camera's dynamic range in this shot, comparing how well the camera holds detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. The 6800 Zoom is tricked a little by the bright, white paint of the bay window, as the stronger details are mainly visible (though we could just barely see some of the fainter lines). The shadow area under the porch fares much better, as the brick pattern and porch light details are clear and distinct with a nice level of brightness. Noise is moderately low in the roof shingles and shadows, with a small grain pattern. In addition to our standard resolution and quality series, we also shot with the 6800 Zoom's interpolated 2,832 x 2,138 pixel size, labeled "Giant" in the table below.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Giant/Fine
1/ 223
F/ 7
(2343 k)
Giant/Normal
1/ 223
F/ 7
(1081 k)
Giant/Economy
1/ 223
F/ 7
(427 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 223
F/ 7
(1235 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 223
F/ 7
(572 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 223
F/ 7
(597 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 223
F/ 7
(278 k)


Small/Normal
1/ 223
F/ 7
(67 k)




 
 
Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, the lens at full 3x telephoto, and at full telephoto with the 4.4x digital telephoto enabled. The 6800 Zoom's wide angle setting captures a fairly wide field of view, with good detail overall. Barrel distortion is evident along the curb of the street, but the overall image still looks pretty good. As with the Far shot above, we noticed a slight haze over the image, which softens the apparent detail. Detail and resolution increase dramatically with the 3x telephoto lens setting, with increased image sharpness as well. The overall exposure is much brighter, and the milky haze we noticed in the wider shot has disappeared, leaving details sharp and crisp. The highlights of the bay window take on an increased bluish cast, and the brighter exposure cause some loss of detail here. The digital zoom setting does a nice job of holding on to resolution and detail, though overall image sharpness decreases a little. (Note that these shots were taken at the 1280x960 image size: The digital zoom shows correspondingly less apparent magnification at larger file sizes.) The exposure darkens slightly as well, making the details of the bay window more visible. Noise increases a little with digital enlargement, but the image looks very nice.

Wide Angle
Shutter: 1/ 294
Aperture: F7
(609 k)
3x Telephoto
Shutter: 1/ 478
Aperture: F2.8
(617 k)
4.4x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/ 147
Aperture: F7
(678 k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (1244k)
The large amount of blue in this image often tricks digicams into overcompensating, but the 6800 Zoom's white balance system handled the challenge well. We shot sample images with the automatic (1244 k) and daylight (1249 k) white balance settings, with the automatic setting producing the most accurate results. Daylight white balance resulted in a very warm image, with heavy orange tints in the skin tones. Overall color balance looked best with the automatic setting, though the skin tones are just a bit magenta. The blue of the Oriental model's robe looks nearly accurate, with good saturation (this is a difficult blue for digicams to reproduce). Resolution looks very good, with nearly all of the fine detail in the bird wings and silver threads of the model's robe visible. We can even see the more subtle details of the smaller bird's wings. The violin strings are nice and crisp, with just a hint of a moire pattern visible. Likewise, the beaded necklaces and flower garland details are very sharp. Noise is moderately low (mostly visible in the blue background), and some of it could be from the poster itself. Again, we snapped images at the interpolated 2,832 x 2,128 pixel resolution size, in both automatic (2370 k) and daylight (2375 k) white balance settings. (With this target, the original poster is showing its age somewhat, in that the available detail is pretty close to what current 3 megapixel digicams can capture. - Thus, the poster itself is probably limiting the apparent detail somewhat in these shots.)


 
Macro Shot (1291k)
The 6800 Zoom performed quite well in the macro category, capturing a very small minimum area of just 2.45 x 1.84 inches (62.35 x 46.76 millimeters). Detail and resolution both look great, with reasonably sharp details throughout the image (though with a hint of softness). Details on the brooch and larger coin appear slightly soft, possibly from the limited depth of field when focusing this close. We again noticed some loss of corner sharpness from the lens, in all four corners. Color balance appears slightly warm, but overall color looks pretty good. A moderate amount of noise is visible in the gray background, but isn't too distracting from the image. The 6800 Zoom's built-in flash (1283 k) does a good job of throttling down for the macro area, cooling the color balance slightly.


"Davebox" Test Target (1236 k)
The 6800's overall color is genuinely excellent, very reminiscent of what we saw when we tested its big brother, the S1 Pro SLR. (Which we felt had the best color we'd seen in a digicam to that point in time. Still does, for that matter.) We shot samples of this target using the automatic (1236 k) and daylight (1243 k) white balance settings, finding the most accurate results with the automatic setting. The daylight setting produced nearly accurate results, though the overall image was slightly warm. The large color blocks look about right, with nice saturation (though the bright red block is a bit bright, and the yellow block is slightly weak). The 6800 Zoom adeptly distinguishes the subtle difference between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (which is a common problem area for many digicams), though the black separator line has a reddish tint. Exposure looks good, as the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 chart are visible all the way up to the "B" range (this is another common problem area for digicams). The tonal gradations of the smaller, vertical gray scales also look good, though the two darkest blocks blend together slightly. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows a nice level of detail, with only moderate noise. We also inspected the bright highlights of the white gauze, which manage not to lose detail. Resolution looks great overall, with good detail in the box hinges and chrome pot lid, and the mini resolution target appears very sharp. We noticed that the top box hinge is in sharp focus, while the bottom hinge is much softer, and confess we're unsure of the reason for this - the camera and box were both mounted vertically and the box was centered in the frame, so both hinges should be equidistant from the camera lens.) Here are samples of the interpolated 2,832 x 2,128 pixel size, in automatic (2315 k) and daylight (2334 k) white balance.


 
Low-Light Tests
As you might have expected, the 6800 Zoom had a few limitations in the low-light category, given its automatic-only exposure control and maximum exposure time of three seconds. The longer exposures available in the Night Scene mode proved critical to getting usable images under even moderately dim conditions. Using Night Scene though, the performance isn't too bad. (We suspect at least one reviewer was tricked by the 6800's exposure system, neglecting Night Scene in his review of the 6800's low light capabilities.) In our testing, using the Night Scene photography mode, we were only able to obtain bright, usable images at light levels as low as one foot-candle (11 lux). The target is still visible as low as 1/16 of a foot-candle (0.67 lux), though images are very dim. A warm color cast appeared in images taken from the four foot-candle (44 lux) light level on down to 1/16 of a foot-candle (0.67 lux). Noise is moderately low in all of the images, though we noticed a fair number of bright red, blue, and green pixels from the CCD (We direct readers to Mike Chaney's excellent Qimage Pro program, for a tool with an amazing ability to remove image noise without significantly affecting detail.) To put the 6800 Zoom's low-light performance into perspective, an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle, so the camera should handle most average, lit, urban night scenes. Anything darker will require use of the flash. The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

8fc
10EV
88lux
4fc
9EV
44lux
2fc
8EV
22lux
1fc
7EV
11lux
1/2fc
6EV
5.5lux
1/4fc
5EV
2.7lux
1/8fc
4EV
1.3lux
1/16fc
3EV
0.67lx
ISO 100 Click to see F68L1000.JPG
1248 KB
1/ 4
F2.8
Click to see F68L1001.JPG
1234 KB
1/ 2
F2.8
Click to see F68L1002.JPG
1247 KB
1.2
F2.8
Click to see F68L1003.JPG
1259 KB
2.3
F2.8
Click to see F68L1004.JPG
1191 KB
2.8
F2.8
Click to see F68L1005.JPG
1233 KB
2.8
F2.8
Click to see F68L1006.JPG
1199 KB
2.8
F2.8
Click to see F68L1007.JPG
1178 KB
2.8
F2.8



 
Flash Range Test
Fuji rates the 6800 Zoom's flash as effective from 0.6 to 11.5 feet (0.2 to 3.5 meters) in wide angle and from 0.6 to 6.6 feet (0.2 to 2.0 meters) in telephoto. In our testing, we found the 6800 Zoom's flash brightest at eight feet from the target, with brightness falling off steadily after that distance. Since we were shooting at maximum telephoto for most of these images, our results were in line with Fuji's stated range ratings. Overall, the F6800's flash isn't terribly powerful, a trait it shares with other ultra-compact digicams we've tested. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 15 feet from the target.

8 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1236 k)
9 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1407 k)
10 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1403 k)
11 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1106 k)
12 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(910 k)
13 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(740 k)
14 ft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(623 k)
15 ft
1/ 80
F/ 3.9
(463 k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (1333k)
The FinePix 6800 Zoom performed very well in our laboratory resolution target test, but was prone to producing some odd artifacts at spatial frequencies well down from its maximum resolving power. We did find that Fuji's interpolation scheme for the "SuperCCD" sensor produces measurably more detail in the 6 megapixel interpolated images than in the 3 megapixel uninterpolated ones. In the 6 megapixel files, artifacts begin at around 800 lines per picture height in both horizontal and vertical directions, but are much more subdued in the vertical direction. Detail is clearly visible as far out as 1200 lines per picture height in both directions, but strong moire patterns begin at around 1050 lines, leading us to "call" the resolution at that level. (In the slightly slanted (5 degree slant) lines, we'd call the resolution at 900 lines before strong moire sets in.)

In the uninterpolated images, more ordinary moire patterns become strongly apparent about 100-150 lines earlier than they do in the interpolated files, producing visual resolutions of roughly 900 lines vertically and horizontally, and leading us to call the resolution in the slanted target elements at roughly 800 lines.

Overall, the F6800 does very well in the resolution department, but its lens lets it down a little in the corners of the targets, particularly at the wide angle setting: The strongest effect is limited to the extreme corners, but the corner 5% or so of the image area is quite blurred. The effect is still visible in the telephoto shots, but is significantly reduced.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Giant/Fine
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(2460 k)
Giant/Normal
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1066 k)
Giant/Economy
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(456 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(1333 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(589 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(608 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(291 k)


Small/Normal
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(80 k)



We ran a series of shots testing the operation of the FinePix 6800's in-camera sharpening options, at both 6 megapixel and 3 megapixel file sizes. While the resolution target isn't the best subject to use for evaluating overall usefulness of sharpening algorithms (due to it's simple patterns and very high contrast), we were surprised to find that the "hard" (maximum) sharpness option actually reduced the resolution artifacts we mentioned above. We'll reserve ultimate judgement until we manage to test the sharpening on our other targets, but based on the res target, we'd say it's a very worthwhile option.

Sharpness Series (2,832 x 2,128 pixel resolution)
Hard
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(2439 k)
Normal
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(2415 k)
Soft
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(2310 k)


Sharpness Series (2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution)
Hard
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(1332 k)
Normal
1/ 69
F/ 2.8
(1326 k)
Soft
1/ 64
F/ 2.8
(1297 k)


Resolution Series, Telephoto
Giant/Fine
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(2428 k)
Giant/Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(1065 k)
Giant/Economy
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(466 k)
Large/Fine
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(1299 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(588 k)

Medium/Fine
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(597 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(301 k)


Small/Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(81 k)



Sharpness Series (2,832 x 2,128 pixel resolution)
Hard
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(2404 k)
Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(2409 k)
Soft
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(2316 k)


Sharpness Series (2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution)
Hard
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(1291 k)
Normal
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(1302 k)
Soft
1/ 30
F/ 2.8
(1253 k)



 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the 6800 Zoom's optical viewfinder to be very tight, showing only 78.25 percent of the final image area at wide angle (1207 k), and about 79.01 percent at telephoto (1187 k) (at the 2,048 x 1,536 pixel image size). The LCD monitor fared much better, showing approximately 95.96 percent accuracy at wide angle (1194 k), and about 96.7 percent at telephoto (1228 k) (also at the 2,048 x 1,536 pixel image size). Since we generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the 6800 Zoom performs well in this respect. Flash distribution is fairly even at the telephoto setting, with a slight reflection present at the center of the target and some magenta tints in places. At the wide angle setting, flash distribution was a little uneven, with the brightest spot in the center of the target and increasing falloff around the edges and in the corners.

Optical distortion on the 6800 Zoom is very high at the wide angle end, where we measured an approximate 1.3 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, though we noticed about three pixels of a barrel distortion here as well (this is unusual, since we normally expect to find some pincushion distortion at the telephoto setting). Chromatic aberration is low, showing about three or four pixels of coloration on either side of the black target lines. The coloration is very faint though, and the extra pixels of width may have been caused by the corner softness from the lens. (Chromatic aberration is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) Overall, high marks for the very slight chromatic aberration, but demerits given for the corner softness and very high barrel distortion at wide angle.

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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